Simon Winchester

» Episode 5: Found in Translation

β€œIt was the China of which he had dreamed.”

Simon Winchester was born in Britain in 1944. He studied geology at Oxford (St. Catherine's College), and soon after decided to be a journalist. He was an award-winning correspondent for the Guardian for 20 years, and also wrote for the Daily Mail and the Sunday Times. (While covering the Falklands War for the Sunday Times, the Argentine government accused him of spying and he was jailed.)

In 1998, Winchester was already the author of nine books -- about Northern Ireland, the American Midwest, the Raj, Korea, and the Falklands, among other subjects -- when The Professor and the Madman was published. That book, about William Chester Minor, an American convicted of murder who contributed definitions "tirelessly" during the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, became a mammoth bestseller. Five years later, Oxford University Press commissioned Winchester to write The Meaning of Everything, the full story of the O.E.D.

Starting in 2001, Winchester has published three more bestsellers: The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, and A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906.

He divides his time between New York, Massachusetts, and Scotland.

See what others are saying:

The Man Who Loved China
By Gregory Kirschling. Entertainment Weekly, May 2, 2008

"The Man Who Loved China": For love of a woman β€” and her land
By Bob Simmons. The Seattle Times, May 2, 2008

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